A technology demonstration which focused on intelligence capabilities and increased interoperability took place here July 16 – 30.
The Army’s participation in Enterprise Challenge 2014 highlighted increased on-the-move intelligence capabilities using the Tactical Intelligence Ground Station, an element of the Distributed Common Ground System – Army, or DCGS-A.
Michael Boardman, director of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence’s Battle Lab, provided insight to the overall purpose of EC14 and its role in the Army’s future.
“We evaluate new technology, working with industry and other intelligence agencies, to take what we have identified as the needs of the Intelligence Corps in the future and find technologies, concepts, systems, architectures, and all those kinds of things that are going to help us meet those needs,” Boardman said.
DCGS-A is the Army’s intelligence component of mission command, connecting Soldiers to Joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and sensors; the intelligence community, and each other at all echelons from space to mud. It is a family of hardware and software capabilities that work together to support the intelligence mission.
The Tactical-Intelligence Ground Station, a part of the DCGS-A program and one of the systems of systems, performs the role of what equates to a “catcher’s glove” for multiple types of sensor data. It receives information from a variety of sources and sends it to analysts in a tactical operations center to analyze and develop intelligence for the commander.
This year at EC, the TGS “chase” vehicle, which is normally used as a support vehicle to carry the gear and the Soldiers who operate the TGS, was used to show the successful on-the-move intelligence capability using a wireless network. DCGS-A has a requirement to operate on the move, maintaining situational awareness in support of the commander while the tactical operation center is mobile.
Sgt. Marquis Lane, the imagery sergeant with TGS, explained the importance of on-the-move technology in the Army today.
“It is going to allow users to go in and grab all the intelligence they are going to need from a particular [forward operating base] or outpost, wherever all the intelligence is going to be gathered, and send it back right away,” Lane said. “So the user could be on top of a mountain and still be bringing in all the information that is needed.”
“It’s 10 steps better than what we had before,” he added. “We go from having actual information compared to only getting reports from a radio.”
The Army used a secure, robust, scalable, integrated network at EC14 to facilitate wireless intelligence distribution to enable on-the-move operations, commercial technology demonstrations, and evaluation of new technologies for potential integration into programs of record.
Along with use of the TGS chase vehicle, EC14 also enabled multiple industry technology demonstrations. Some of those technologies included full motion video from space and drastically improved radar and biometric capabilities.